sabine_tk (sabine_tk) wrote in times_xwd_times,
sabine_tk
sabine_tk
times_xwd_times

Times Crossword 24382

Solving time: 16.59

Not expecting any medals for this time. I was held up in quite a few places by unfamiliar words or phrases and had to rely on wordplay, which was fortunately unambiguous. I didn't get any of the long multi-word answers at 1, 7 and 26 for a good while, though I correctly pencilled in the "THE" in all three of them, which proved to be more helpful than I probably deserved. Last to go in were the 21/22 pair in the SW corner.

Across
1
GO FOR THE BURN - not a phrase I'd heard of, and I needed both the B and the R before I was able to work out what I could possibly be going for.
8
BALD,RIC - BALD=plain, and RIC(e) is cereal short of energy. Before I met this clue I had no idea that a baldric(k) was a warrior's belt or sash for supporting a sword.
9
PO-FACED - DECAF OP, all backwards.
11
VALET,TA - the capital of Malta.
12
SEA L(EG)S - E.G.=say. A very precise definition, completely useless to me for quite some time because, with an S at the start and the end, I was thinking that "on board" referred to the SS device that's used in this way.
13
T,HEIR
14
G,AR,ROTTED = G=start of Great, (w)AR= War (leaving wife), ROTTED = went off.
18
EMBRACERY, being an anagram of B (leader of bar) + "my career". Embracery is the attempted corruption of jurors, making three definitions I had to look up already, and we're barely halfway through the acrosses.
19
PI(a)ZZA
21
ALUM(I)NA - yet another word I didn't really know, though it was obviously right when I got to it, which I did after staring at A_U_I__ until ALUMNA eventually popped into my head. "Alumina" is one of several names for the abrasive material aluminium oxide.
23
LOO,K O,UT - There is usually a clue whose wordplay defeats me until I'm all but finished blogging, and this one was this week's culprit. It's LOO=ladies (lavatory), K.O = floor (knock out) and UT is "just" with the odd letters missing. I knew about the UT, but kept trying to do the same thing (remove odd letters) to "floor", which did yield the LO but left the obviously impossible OKO.
24
T(W)ITTER - hmm, I suspect this isn't the last time we're going to see TWITTER clued this way. (Although - in ten years' time will it be largely forgotten that in 2009 we used to tweet?)
25
ADO, RING
26
THE RED PLANET, a nickname for Mars, and therefore not our world. I was stuck at THE RED for much too long.
Down
1
GAL,I,LEE, GAL(e) being endless wind. A galilee is a porch or chapel at the west end of a church - another one I got entirely from the wordplay.
2
FO(R)STER, a reference to E. M. Forster.
4
HOP,E,S, East and South being opponents in the game of bridge.
6
RI,CHEST (RI = Rhode Island)
7
ABOVE THE SALT - to be seated above the salt cellar was a sign of high social class, while in another sense if you are above the salt you are over the sea.
10
DI(SAD(VAN)TAG)E - till I put this together I thought that "fail" was the definition, but the definition is "cost" - DIE=fail, SAD=blue, VAN=vehicle and TAG=label, with "secure" and "covers" indicating two levels of containment.
15
ROYAL M(AI)L - the road is the A1, inside (morally)*. If the recent strikes had involved picket lines this clue might have been damn near perfect. (Did they? I didn't notice...)
17
BRUTISH - "British" with one letter changed, although actually since "one" in a clue can mean I, it's probably meant as a specific instruction to change the I.
18
AVI,A,TOR - "no end keen" being AVI(d).
19
PRONOUN - "I" is a pronoun, and so the definition (adding a comma for clarity) is "I, say". The wordplay requires CEMENT to be removed from PRONOUNCEMENT (a statement), to make it not binding. Which I thought was rather clever.
20
Z,IONIST - Z-unknown, IONIST = (is into)*.
22
AI,RED, with A1, a road in a previous clue, this time in the sense of fine, first-rate. Even after spotting RED I still needed the A from ALUMINA before I could finish this one.
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